Removal of recycling bins, garbage cans sparks complaints

  • Oct. 14, 2009 1:00 p.m.

Canada Post staff have removed garbage cans as well as recycling bins from post offices on the islands, sparking several complaints from residents. At the Sandspit post office, customers are now placing unwanted mail on the counter tops, causing a mess for the janitor. In Queen Charlotte, flyers and newspapers are piling up on the floor.Queen Charlotte resident Evelyn von Almassy has written a letter to MP Nathan Cullen complaining about the situation. “Canada Post now will help to contribute more stuff in the landfill as not everyone will take the flyers home and recycle,” she said. “We have no recycling at a time when we are trying to reduce our carbon footprint, it is appalling that as a place of business there’s not even a garbage can… it should be there.”Sandspit’s Carole Bowler also sounded off, stating that she didn’t “think it was that much of a cost for Canada Post, and they are the ones distributing the flyers!”She suggested that a quick fix to the problem might be for residents to make up ‘return to sender’ stickers and start sending the unwanted mail back. “I think that if merchants started to receive these back, at a cost, this might stop,” she said. The move comes just a year after Canada Post decided to roll out an expanded national recycling program at all facilities. The program, according to a Canada Post report, was to encourage reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery in every municipality wherever possible.The regional district waste manager for the islands, Rob Kidd, said Canada Post should pay something for the recycling services required by the volume of junk mail it distributes. “When I came here those bins were in place, full of newspapers and flyers that hadn’t even been read, so I did some checking to ask why (the flyers and papers) are being brought here just to have me ship them right back,” Mr. Kidd said. “We have to recoup something for this… I was told that they have a budget to (recycle) but wouldn’t pay, they said to remove the bins.” Mr. Kidd said the regional district charges $10 per month to rent the bin (or customers can purchase the bin for $148) and $25 per pick up. That means if a post office rented a bin and had four pick ups a month, the monthly cost would be $110.Mr. Kidd said it costs the regional district about $2,500 to ship a trailer full of recyclable material off-island. He pointed out that Canada Post receives revenue for distributing the unwanted material and it doesn’t seem right that it doesn’t have to pay even a fraction of that profit to recycle it.”There are bundles and bundles of newspapers, unaddressed mail and catalogues unopened every week,” he said. “I want to help, but I am in a deficit if I don’t get paid.”